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Safer Products for Washington, a groundbreaking law that we won in 2019, empowers the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to protect sensitive populations and sensitive species from chemicals that are threatening health and the environment.

In December, Ecology released a draft rule, proposing the following restrictions that are some of the strongest in the nation.

  • Per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) in carpet, rugs, leather and textile furnishings, and aftermarket treatments used for these products;
  • Organohalogen flame retardants (OFR) in plastic enclosures for electric and electronic products for indoor use;
  • OFR and certain organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) in recreational foam products such as foam mats, covered floor mats, covered flooring and outdoor recreational products;
  • Bisphenols in drink can linings and thermal paper;
  • Phthalates in fragrances used for beauty and personal care products and PVC (vinyl) plastic flooring; and,
  • Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) in detergents.

For each of the chemical – product combinations where it proposed a ban, Ecology first identified safer solutions that are already widely in use. 

Ecology is also proposing that manufacturers report whether they are using organohalogen flame retardants for plastic electronic enclosures for outdoor use; PFAS in outdoor home textiles; bisphenols in beverage containers; and certain toxic flame retardant in wall padding.

In most cases, adoption of these rules would make Washington the first state to ban the chemical class in the named product category. These requirements would help protect communities in Washington state and beyond by setting strong protections. 

Ecology is asking for public comments on the proposed restrictions and will adopt rules by June 2023.